The Beach Boys were right, everybody’s gone surfing (..or at least, headed to the water)

Today’s weather forecast of warm, +70° temperatures across the nation seems to be an appropriate kick-off to celebrate the first official day of summer. Although with so many hot sunny days here along the Treasure Coast and Greater Palm Beach areas, some may have thought the season started weeks ago!

We know that one of the best ways to beat the heat is to head to the water – whether it is at a neighborhood pool, nearby lake or one of our many beaches. A recent Red Cross survey found that nearly 80 percent of all Americans plan to do water-related summer activities (but we would wager the number would be even higher if the survey was just done in Florida).

Yet the survey also found that of those with aquatic agendas in their future, one in five cannot swim well, describing their swimming skills as “fair” “poor” or “non-existent”.

A recent survey found that 1 in 5 people don’t know how to swim well…but with the proper steps to safety you don’t have to sit out on the sidelines this summer.

But even if you’re not the next Michael Phelps, water safety and swimming knowledge should play a huge role in your summer plans, especially for families with small children.

To help everyone start their summer off safely, we’ve compiled a list of things to remember when you head off for your H2O happenings:

  • Children should not go near – or in – water without the permission and supervision of an adultThose who own a home pool should secure it with appropriate barriers and pool gate alarms
  • Designate at least one adult to solely be responsible for watching those in and around water…even if a lifeguard is present
  • Water wings and pool floaties are NOT a substitute for supervision, and those watching young children should try to maintain an “arm’s-reach supervision”
  • Ensure that everyone in the family learns how to swim well
  • Teach children to always ask permission to go near or in the water
  • Know what to do in an emergency by getting trained in CPR/AED and first aid

We have a lot of great resources at the Red Cross to help you remember these things and more. Check out our website for more tips on how you can stay safe – or call your local chapter and ask about our Learn-to-Swim courses for children.

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